1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Next Big Trend in Jazz?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Boplicity, Jun 5, 2001.

  1. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    A discussion in another thread got me to wondering, what is the next big trend in jazz? Maybe I should say innovation.

    I mean after musicians have tried every conceivable variation of chords, modes, inside/outside, etc. where can they go or where are they going next? I'm talking about structurally. I don't mean what new technical and electronic inventions and advancements that change the music. I'm talking about approaches to music itself.

    Are there newer ways to play chords or modes? Are there newer song forms? Who is seen as the big innovator? How long has it been since the last major and well received innovation? How much further can jazz go? Are the possibilities limitless or does music have some structural limit to improvisation?

    Just curious. I hope some of you will have some ideas about this.
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well I think Ed is right - as usual! A lot of the best original Jazz music I have heard has got things with strange time signatures or the sort of thing Ed mentions under 1. For example, there is a pianist who is well-respected in Jazz and Classical Avant-garde in Europe - Alex Maguire. There was an event sponsored by my local Jazz club, where Alex played with his trio at the Jazz club on Friday night - a set of all original compositions and then he gave a workshop on the Saturday after, where he handed out the music and explained what he was doing. Each song had a unique time signature or rhythmic approach - so like one was based on 9/4 and another which had different parts in different time signatures. It was very interesting to go through the songs and appreciate what had gone into their compostion - but they were impossible to play!! All the compositions were very melodic and intense and my girlfriend really liked the gig, although she doesn't usually like Jazz and without the subsequent analysis most people would not be aware of the "innovations" - including myself - just that there was a unique "sound".

    There are also a lot of "fusions" with Jazz about - I think that Avishai Cohen's Israeli influences give a lot of "colour" to his original Jazz compositions. The "Perfect Houseplants" in the UK have recently released an album which is a fusion of Jazz and English Traditional Songs and they have previously made albums with choral singers and Jazz/madrigal fusion!
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    "Smooth jazz" is sowing the seed for its logical progeny, "Comatose jazz," which will not allow the use of dissonance, odd meters, dynamics other than pianissimo, and scales not used by Kenny H, the test tube son of Kenny G. :D

    I don't know about "a trend." One of the strengths of jazz is that it assimilates everything that is going on and the truths we wish were going on. As a consequence, it is so diverse.

    Gillespie said not long before he died that he saw Latin influences becoming a bigger player in jazz. I think he is dead on. The booming Latino population and the continued economic progress of Latin countries, allowing them more access to advanced musical education and more of a risk-taking mentality will make them a bigger voice than ever before. (Gard will have lots of work).

    As Ed mentioned, this is the "melting pot" phenomenon, as the internet causes national borders to become more invisible and the ideas contained within are easily shared globally through mp3's, instead of buying import recordings. This is different to what happened earlier in the last century, when other countries looked at what was going on, (or what went on), in the US and used that as "the" model for what jazz is or should be. African music, techno/industrial and rap/hip-hop influences will be increasingly heard in the music, too. Ears that are young now will expect it. Groove Collective is one artist that comes to mind.

    I don't know if some people are through with "free jazz" resurgence in the 90's and the whole Sun Ra thing yet.

    Unless he has an epiphany, W. Marsalis will continue to collect dust in the "museum."

    Some gifted jazz musicians will be distracted by the continually exploding technology. But I think there will always those we can count on to stay focused on the messages rather than the mediums.
  4. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Steve Coleman is a good bit of evidence for the melting pot idea, I think.
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Seriously though, I think that the "melting pot" concept will be the next big trend not just for jazz but for just about all music. All of the boundaries are disappearing...except, of course, the boundaries between those who want to work to get better at something and those who want to be spoon-fed everything while watching reruns of "Springer Break" on MTV.
  6. Punk Jazz?
  7. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Jaco did it. vl. 1-6 are available "Live in New York"
  8. If Miles were still alive, I bet he'd be at the forefront of a new Jazz style like he was for modal jazz, fusion, etc. It would be cool to see what he would be doing if he was still alive.
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...granted, Miles was usually at the vanguard of each major movement in Jazz(post-1940s). At the end, though, nothing fresh, IMO.
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...sorry about re-quoting the whole sha-bang-
    1)All those ODD time signatures on Classic tunes? How 'bout Don Ellis? The ONLY thing Ellis didn't play in ODD time was "Take 5"(Charlie Haden once quipped that).

    2)I'm a big Allison fan; other guys in a similiar bag-
    Avishai Cohen(in Corea's latest trio + Allison's drummer, Jeff Ballard); anyway, Cohen's solo stuff, primarily Adama, is big on the melting pot of ethnic/Eastern grooves in a post-boppish vibe.
    John Lindberg's stuff, too; hmmmm, Allison, Cohen, Lindberg...ALL bassists!

    Ed, whaddya make of those who claim Coltrane was the last (great)innovator? You know me, I'm checking out a lotta of these living "freebos", both NYC & European...I dunno, they ain't 'Trane! ;)
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...actually, "Punk Jazz" was originally from Weather Report's Mr. Gone album; Jaco AND Tony Williams rippin' together in the opening 3-4 minutes...the tune then settles into a Big Band-ish/hip-hoppish shuffle.
  12. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Well, I've found just the perfect book for you. While searching through sheet music offerings at SheetMusicPlus.com, I came across this book being offered there. I know you'll get a kick out of it.

    "Jazz Bass in Twelve Weeks"

    Better hurry and buy it while it is still in print. The new edition soon to come out is "Jazz Bass in Twelve DAYS." (Just kidding about the revised edition, but honestly, the "Jazz Bass in Twelve Weeks" does exist and you can buy it here....)


    You can buy it to sell at a profit to those who post here wanting tabs for "Giant Steps", etc.
  13. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    The minute rap metal fades, jazz polka will rise to take its place.

    Seriously though, hybridization is rough, because we've hybridized (some would say bastardized) just about everything. There will be a backlash, with bands going back to real obscure but pure musical styles. We've seen it already, with bands like Squirrel Nut Zippers and Brian Setzer Orchestra mining the past. The problem is (and it's a good problem to have, I guess) this: the western world has largely been in a prolonged state of social status quo maintenance. No huge wars to react to. No real, objective crises to deal with. Most art movements--in music, in lit, in painting, etc.--are and have always been reflections of and reactions to BIG external events. WWII. The dehuminization caused by technology. The Depression. Viet Nam. (I apologize to talkbassers in other countries--I'm certainly filtering this through the US lens. But jazz is, after all, an American form.).

    What was the last significant jazz movement? Free jazz? Harmolodics? Fusion, the awkward stepchild of Miles' Bitches Brew sessions? I mean, those are 20 or 30 years old, and free jazz is even older than that.

    Jazz needs a galvanizing event and and an equally galvanizing personality to lift it out of its torpor. Otherwise, it's Kenny G all the way down.
  14. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000
    Ed Fuqua-ditto

    Every time I see/hear Joe Zawinul stuff seems new and fresh.

    Last week Chick Corea's New Trio at Yoshies, keyword new. These guys ripped me a new synaps.
  15. Maybe Jazz players should start spitting fire on stage, that would put a real dent in the market that listens to the crap music that is out there.
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    You might get the most argument on that from fellow citizens - some of whom, might say that it's a mix of African rhythmic sensibilities and European Art music. Gershwin was influenced as much by French composers like Ravel and Debussy as he was by anything else and his approach to songs was taken up by a large number of Jazz musicians.
  17. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I'm quite taken with all the Euro-style drum n'bass avant-weirdness that's championed by ECM, the Wire, etc. That, and the Latin stuff, strike me as the galvanizing elements necessary to keep Jazz from becoming a museum piece.

    Re Jazz as an American art form. Discounting, of course, the contributions of Grappelli, Reinhardt, and all of the American exiles that invaded France during the last century, I think the *alleged* dubiousness of Europe's claims on jazz is actually fruitful to experimentation. If Europe doesn't have any tradition to uphold, it should be freer to mess the genre. Bring it on, I say.
  18. I think alot of jazz stuff today is all the same stuff coltrane was doing back in the day. I dont like smooth jazz at all, and I hate to think people call that jazz when theyve never heard of real jazz legends like wes montgomery.
    As far as the next step in jazz culture, because to me it almost more of a culture than just music, I'd hope that itd be all about new rythm, new timings, and with any luck the bass will play an even more critical and melodic part than it did before. I find it funny that jazz was such a revered music back in the day. In the 20's through 40's it was strangeley enough the rock and roll of those times. Itd be really neat if it could evovle and become like that again. If you want to hear jazz on the radio (at least where I live), its all "smooth" (whatever that means) jazz. Its crap, its like elavator music, numbing and boring. I have jazz records that grab you and whip you in a frenzy, some really good stuff. Jazz as a whole needs to be like that again. Guys like Wes, Coltrane, Miles davis, Getz and jaco got people excited about jazz, theres nobody doing that anymore. It needs to be exciting again.
  19. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i think that jam bands might hold the future of jazz - kind of a rock, jazz, funk melting pot.

    also stuff like medeski martin and wood or some of the acid jazz stuff might hold the key to the future...

    i know in my other band, we're "jazz", but we always have more of a groove than a swing, and we're loud as hell, and more harsh/out/rockish than normal jazz stuff. not that we're the future of jazz or anything, but i think we're kinda stretching what was viewed as jazz....

    who knows?

  20. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...sounds like you're describing '70s Fusioneers like Return To Forever or The Mahavishnu Orchestra or Larry Coryell's 11th House. ;)
    Too, some of the records by Miles in his electric period(example: Tribute To Jack Johnson) are "Rockin' "Jazz".
    More recent stuff would include guitarist Sonny Sharrock's albums(check out Ask The Ages...it's electric guitar(Sharrock), ACOUSTIC bass(Charnett Moffett), sax(Pharoah Sanders), & drums(Elvin Jones). IMO, a pretty happenin' & volatile mix. Sharrock's Seize The Rainbow sounds like where Hendrix MAY have headed IF...(maybe) ;)
    Also, "Blood" Ulmer's Music Revelation Ensemble albums...even bands like The Screaming Headless Torsos and Tribal Tech are "rockin' & jazzin'".

    So, I guess the point I'm attempting to get at is this-
    LOUD, Jazzy, Rockin', harsh...it's been done.

    ...and jam bands like MM&W? How 'bout "jam" bands like Jack McDuff & Sonny Clark & Tony Williams Lifetime?
    Acid Jazz? I've heard '60s/Blue Note Era guitarist Grant Green labeled as such.

    What hasn't been done? ;)

Share This Page